4 Ex-GSU Officers Convicted Over Woman's Murder During Raid

A contingent of General Service Unit (GSU) Police officers walking by the roadside
A contingent of General Service Unit (GSU) Police officers walking by the roadside

The High Court sitting in Nyandarua on Thursday convicted four Ex-General Service Unit (GSU) officers for murdering a woman, Mary Chepkorir, during a crackdown on illicit alcohol conducted at her home within Laikipia County in March 2020.

While delivering his ruling, Justice Charles Kariuki observed that the Prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the four officers planned and intended to hurt the woman while undertaking the operation.

As such, the judge ordered that the police officers be detained at the Nyahururu GK Prisons pending sentencing. 

The four officers, previously attached to the Majiwa GSU Camp, were among 7 law enforcement personnel whom the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) had recommended be prosecuted for the crime.

A photo of a gavel used in court.
A photo of a gavel used in court.

However, the court acquitted two chiefs and an assistant chief on the grounds that there wasn't sufficient evidence to build a watertight case against them.

During the raid in question, the officers had accompanied the chief to enforce the closure of bars selling illicit brew. The exercise led them to the woman's home in Laikipia.

However, during the operation, the officers shot the woman dead.

“The officers attached to Majiwa General Service Unit (GSU) camp had accompanied the area Chief in conducting an operation against the sale of illegal alcohol, during which she died,” IPOA said in a statement after the incident.

Once the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) received the file from IPOA, the top prosecutor at the time, wrote back, recommending the officers be charged with murder.

Thursday's ruling delivers justice for the woman's family which has been in and out of courts pursuing justice for their slain kin for more than three years.

IPOA, being the legally mandated body to check excesses by the police has since being operationalised successfully lobbied for the prosecution of officers suspected of abusing their authority.

Some of the cases that IPOA has successfully prosecuted before include; instances of extrajudicial killings, firearm misuse and police brutality.

Hands resting on jail bars at a police station.
A photo of a person resting his hands on jail bars at a police station.
Kenya Prisons
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